ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, national spokesman Pule Mabe, and communications official Amos Phago. Photo: ANA/Jonisayi Maromo

Pretoria - South Africa's governing African National Congress is strategising and formulating measures to revitalise its structures within communities to ensure the party wins resoundingly in the 2019 national and provincial elections, officials said on Saturday.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule spoke to journalists in Pretoria, where the party is holding a special session of its highest decision-making body, the national executive committee (NEC). 

"We're engaging around the issues of unity and renewal, rebuilding the structures, and consolidating the ANC to an overwhelming victory next year. We have called it an extended [meeting of the NEC] because we have also called the top five of provinces," said Magashule.

"They are all here so that when we discuss the issue of unity and renewal. Everybody is on board. We have agreed that moving forward people must meet and have ANC meetings. People must engage. Provinces must be able to invite one another so that people and leaders don't meet in corners," he said.

The ANC has been engaged in a charm offensive, trying to repair its tarnished image by exploiting the positive sentiments accompanying President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership of both the ANC and the country.

The ANC faces tough competition from the official opposition Democratic Alliance led by Mmusi Maimane. Another contender is the radical Economic Freedom Fighters led by outspoken former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema. 

It has also emerged, to add to the lengthy list of ANC competitors, that the party's former ally the National Union of Metalworkers' of South Africa (Numsa) has now registered as a political party - the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) - and will contest the 2019 elections.

"South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world where the elite one percent own all the wealth and the means of production, even after apartheid. The sad reality is that the economic policies which the ANC government has been driving have meant that the majority of people still live in extreme poverty and inequality, just as it was under apartheid," the SRWP's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said this week.

"The root of mass poverty, unemployment, and extreme inequality is the racist South African colonialist, capitalist system which has been aided by the global capitalist system in ensuring that the working class majority remains massively underdeveloped and our people materially and culturally poor," he said.

Asked about the newly-registered political party on Saturday, the ANC said it was a welcome move which proved the vibrancy of South Africa's democracy.

African News Agency (ANA)